Canada on Wednesday became the first major world economy and the second country in the world to legalize recreational marijuana as the first sale marks from today.
As of today, October 17th, 2018, adults in Canada can pick up dried cannabis leaves, oils, and pre-rolled joints from government-licensed retailers, and grown their own indoor plants.
On Wednesday morning, the government announced that it would introduce legislation to make it easier for Canadians who had been convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana to obtain a pardon.
Adults of at least 18 years old will be allowed to carry and share up to 30 grams of legal marijuana in public, according to a bill that passed the Senate in June.
They will also be allowed to cultivate up to four plants in their households and make products such as edibles for personal use.
Politicians from multiple countries congratulated Canada following Wednesday’s legalization and said they hoped their countries would follow Uruguay and Canada into decriminalizing the drug.
“Canada shows the way. When will the UK end the catastrophic prohibition of cannabis?” tweeted British MP Norman Lamb.
Canada shows the way. When will the UK end the catastrophic prohibition of cannabis? https://t.co/dGZ3BIVFG0
— Norman Lamb (@normanlamb) October 17, 2018
The first recreational cannabis to be legally bought in Canada was purchased at midnight on Wednesday (02:30 GMT) on the eastern island of Newfoundland amid queues of hundreds of people.
Ian Power, from the town of St John’s began queuing at 20:00 local time so he could “make history”. Newfoundland is half an hour ahead of the next province to the west.
A number of analysts are predicting a shortage of recreational marijuana in the first year of legalisation as production and licensing continues to ramp up to meet demand.
Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, will only begin opening retail stores next spring, though residents will be able to order cannabis online.